PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Equal Pay Day Falls Earlier This Year. Here’s What to Know. (Maria)

The author writes, “For more than a quarter-century, the United States has recognized Equal Pay Day: the day that marks how far into the new year the average woman must work to match what her male counterparts made the year before. Today, that day arrives earlier than it has in its 26-year history, a fact that the Biden administration lauded on Monday. ‘The earlier that Equal Pay Day arrives, the closer our Nation has come to achieving pay fairness,’ the president said in a prepared statement. This means that in 2020, the average woman working full-time, year-round, made 83 cents to a typical man’s dollar — up one cent from the previous year.”

Could Putin Actually Fall? (Sean)

The author writes, “As Russia’s war in Ukraine looks increasingly disastrous, speculation has mounted that President Vladimir Putin’s misstep could prove to be his downfall. A litany of pundits and experts have predicted that frustration with the war’s costs and crushing economic sanctions could lead to the collapse of his regime. ‘Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine will result in the downfall of him and his friends,’ David Rothkopf declared in The Daily Beast. ‘If history is any guide, his overreach and his miscalculations, his weaknesses as a strategist, and the flaws in his character will undo him.’ But what events could actually bring down Putin? And how likely might they be in the foreseeable future?”

Shortwave Radio Signal From Florida Cow Pasture Reaches Russia Carrying Latest News (Reader Steve)

From CBS Miami: “A massive shortwave radio antenna sits in a cow pasture north of Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida. ‘We have 14, 100,000-watt transmitters and 23 antennas beaming to all parts of the world,’ said Jeff White, the general manager of Miami-based WRMI. The multi-signal station is said to be one of the largest shortwave radio operations in the world. WRMI stands for Radio Miami International and worldwide coverage means it can easily send signals into Ukraine and Russia.”

US Bars Ex-Spies From Becoming ‘Mercenaries,’ Following Reuters Series (DonkeyHotey)

From Reuters: “A new law bans the United States’ former spies from hiring themselves out to foreign governments right after they stop working for Washington. The legislation, signed into law by President Joseph Biden on Tuesday as part of a $1.5 trillion spending bill, prohibits U.S. intelligence officials with knowledge of spycraft and national security secrets from selling their services to other countries for 30 months after retiring.”

Assassinated in His Prime, an Iconic African Leader Haunts a Trial and His Country (Russ)

The author writes, “Thirty-five years after the killing of President Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, his supporters hope for justice. But the full truth about the murder, including any foreign role, is elusive.”

Six Key Lifestyle Changes Can Help Avert the Climate Crisis, Study Finds (Laura)

The author writes, “People in well-off countries can help avert climate breakdown by making six relatively straightforward lifestyle changes, according to research from three leading institutions. The study found that sticking to six specific commitments — from flying no more than once every three years to only buying three new items of clothing a year — could rein in the runaway consumption that is partially driving the climate crisis.”

Queen’s Dog Biscuits Eaten by Government Minister in Bizarre Gaffe (Dana)

The author writes, “Queen Elizabeth II’s dog biscuits were eaten by a former U.K. government minister in a particularly unusual royal gaffe, according to a new biography of the monarch. Alan Johnson was health secretary when he was invited to have lunch with Elizabeth at Windsor after attending a meeting of the privy council in 2008. And it was when the cheese course appeared that he reached for a biscuit to accompany his dessert, according to new royal book Queen Of Our Times: The Life Of Elizabeth II. The Labour Party politician only realized his mistake later after discussing the meal with colleague Paul Murphy, the Welsh secretary at the time.”